Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs? What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know

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Author: Jacob Kay

Every dog parent has a tendency to feed or treat their dog with whatever they eat. We can feed some kinds of table food and scraps to our dog. But not all. If you ask, “Can dogs eat hot dogs?” My answer is No. Hotdogs are not toxic to dogs, but they are also not recommended for feeding. 

Hot dogs were enjoyed by both humans and dogs. Hot dogs are highly processed, and there is a high level of salt and fat in them. If your dog is very healthy, then only you can use the small piece of hot dog as a treat. But because it is not healthy for both humans and dogs, we should keep it under the “rare treat” food category for dogs.

Before you give hot dogs to your dog as a treat, you should consult your vet about which treats are suitable for your pet.

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Can a Dog Eat Hot Dogs?

Hot dogs may seem like a tasty treat for your furry friend, but did you know that they can be loaded with ingredients that are not good for dogs? Many hotdogs contain harmful additives such as sodium nitrate, which has been linked to cancer, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and even sugars or artificial sweeteners. But wait, it doesn’t end there! Some hotdogs also have seasonings like garlic and onion powder, which can be toxic to your pooch.

Can dogs eat hot dog
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Now, let’s talk about the salt content in hotdogs. According to the National Academy of Sciences, a dog weighing 15 kg only needs a daily dose of 200 milligrams (mg) of sodium. But here’s the catch, the average hotdog packs in more than 500 mg of sodium! That’s more than double the recommended daily intake for your furry friend. Consuming too much sodium can dehydrate your dog and even lead to high blood pressure over time.

And if that wasn’t enough, hotdogs can also pose a choking hazard, especially for larger breeds who might try to swallow them whole without chewing. So, before you treat your pup to a hotdog, think twice and consider healthier options that are safe for your pet.

5 Reasons Why Hot Dogs Are Bad for Dogs

Hot dogs are not a healthy option for your dog. It is okay to feed your dog once in a full moon, but it is not necessary either. Let us discuss the reasons why hot dogs are bad for dogs.

1) Additives

Hotdogs, sausages, and other BBQ food items are made of many pet-unsafe ingredients that are harmful to your dog. Additives like the flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) cause seizures in dogs. Moreover, preservatives like sodium nitrate and nitrite lead to cancer in dogs. Garlic powder and onion powder are also used as seasonings, which are considered toxic foods for dogs.

If you buy low-quality hotdogs, then there are more chances that they have added many other harmful additives.

2) Buns Can Upset a Dog’s Stomach

Buns carry no nutritional value. Sometimes even dogs avoid buns as they are not very appealing. Also, buns can cause bloating and gas in dogs. Before you feed any kind of bread to your dog, make sure he is not allergic to it.

3) Calorie-Dense

Hot dogs are high in calories. Try to avoid giving hotdogs, even as treats, especially if your dog is under training. Usually, dog treats contain less than 10% of calories of their daily calorie intake. Excessive calories will lead to many kinds of medical issues, mainly obesity.

“Your veterinarian can estimate how many calories your dog needs each day based on his lifestyle and body condition score.” says Ryan Llera, DVM from VCAHospital

Calories dense
LourdesPhotography – Istock

4) High-fat Content

Normally, hotdogs are high in fat and calories. High-fat food will upset the dog’s digestive system, resulting in diarrhoea and vomiting. It can also harm their pancreas and cause pancreatitis.

High fat means high sugar. Sugar itself is harmful to almost every living being. Hot dogs contain artificial sweeteners, which are made of Xylitol. This can lead to hypoglycemia and liver failure in dogs.

5) Excessive Sodium

The real taste of hot dogs comes from salt and hot dogs contain nearly two times of recommended daily sodium intake. If you feed hot dogs on regular basis, it will lead to high blood pressure, dehydration, cardiovascular disease and sometimes stroke also.

To save your furry friend from all these, you should avoid giving them hot dogs. “Ingestion of large amounts of salt can cause sodium ion poisoning in pets” Stated in VetMeds.

What to Do If Dog Accidentally Eats Hot Dogs

You mistakenly drop your hot dog on the floor, and before you can bend down to pick it up, the hot dog is in your dog’s mouth. There is nothing to worry about, do not panic. One hot dog will not harm your dog, hot dogs are not toxic for dogs. Worry only if he eats more than one or two. You should do the following.

Avoid Panicking

One hot dog will not harm your furry friend, so relax. Maybe he gets an upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea, and that also happens after one day. As soon as you see him eating a hot dog, offer plenty of water. It reduces the chances of an upset stomach.

Watch for Choking

Choking can be a serious issue. There is a high chance that while eating a hot dog, your dog will choke. Hot dogs can get stuck in your dog’s throat and block the airway. If you see that your dog might have choked after eating a hot dog, without waiting, call your veterinarian.

Any sudden onset of choking that affects respiration should be dealt with immediately,” says Dr. Lauren Jones, VMD from PetMd.

Hot dogs can pose a choking risk, especially for larger breeds. Owners may have similar concerns about the texture of yorkshire pudding and wonder is yorkshire pudding safe for dogs.

Choking on hot dog
Barna Tanko – Istock

Give Lots of Water

Let them drink lots of water after they eat a hot dog. Due to high sodium levels,

Let them drink lots of water after they eat a hot dog. Due to high sodium levels, salt lead to toxicity, including lack of coordination, tremors, and seizures. And water helps to dilute it.

Can Puppies Eat Hot Dogs?

Puppies normally have a more sensitive digestive system than adults. Their stomachs can get upset, even if you feed a small piece of hot dog to your puppy. It always varies from puppy to puppy, some puppies can digest hot dogs without any detrimental effect.

Just remember that due to their small body size, they need fewer calories and high protein than large dogs. You should be more careful about his diet when he is a puppy. It is necessary for their growth and development that they have a balanced nutritional diet. Therefore, if you give a treat to your puppy, it should be in a very small quantity.

It’s best to avoid feeding hot dogs to puppies. If looking for a safe, crunchy puppy snack, many dog owners ask can dogs eat corn flakes?

Can Dogs Have All-beef Hot Dogs?

Beyond doubt, an all-beef hot dog is healthier than any other hot dog. Also, they are much safer to eat for dogs, as all-beef hot dogs are made from only one type of meat. But all-beef hot dogs also contain sodium and seasonings, so they will be as harmful as any other beef.

All-beef is not the type of meat that is harmful to dogs but added salt and seasoning are problems. Thus, it is better to avoid every hot dog and try to give something else as a treat.


Can dogs eat sausage?

Alike hotdogs, sausages are also not a good healthy option for treat. Definitely, sausages are safe to eat. But it would be best if you did not use sausage in training as a reward and also do not serve it on a regular basis. A small piece of sausage on a special day can be a high-value treat.

How much hot dog can a dog eat?

I would not suggest you even serve a hot dog to your dog. Even if he will not taste the hot dog for his whole life, he would be fine. But if you still want to treat your dog to hot dogs, then there is no thumb rule, you should just make sure that you are serving chopped hot dogs to avoid choking.

What are some hot dog alternatives I can give my dog?

Anything with low fat and calories can be a good alternative to a hot dog. But before you decide, consult your vet. You can serve cooked meat, like boneless and skinless chicken breast, ground turkey, ground beef, and chicken sausages.

Can I give my dog a raw hot dog?

Never feed your dog a raw hot dog. Not even if he is on a raw diet. Raw hot dog means uncooked meat. Uncooked meat contains multiple, processed meat sources and contains high levels of bacteria, which can be harmful to your dog. It can make your dog sick or cause a serious medical issue.

Can dogs eat chicken hot dogs?

Dogs can eat a small amounts of hot dogs occasionally, but the condition is they should be healthy and not be allergic to chicken meat. If you want to feed your dog a chicken hot dog for the first time, then you should first take your dog to the vet. Only they can suggest that you should or shouldn’t feed your dog a chicken hot dog.


Basically, a dog’s digestive system is not made to digest human food. Therefore, it is better to be a little careful when you feed real food to your dog.

To sum up the question, “Can dogs eat hot dogs?” In simple words, although hot dogs are not toxic to humans, you should not serve them on a regular basis. And before serving hot dogs must check with the vet that your dog is healthy for hot dogs. At the same time, do not worry if accidentally your dog eats hot dog. Hot dogs won’t kill dogs.

You may have similar concerns if your dog accidentally eats porridge and wonder, can dogs have porridge?


  1. Colgate. (2022b, August 30). Dogs & Table Food: Why to Avoid Feeding Them Scraps. Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from
  2. People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets. (n.d.). ASPCA. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from
  3. Pet first aid – Basic procedures. (n.d.). American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved January 20, 2023, from
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Jacob Kay
Jacob Kay is a Veterinary Advisor and Editor at WWD. He’s also a dog lover and has two pet dogs of his own. He has extensive knowledge in the field of veterinary medicine and is always happy to share his insights with others.

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